Bob Macy had kind of thought he’d be Oklahoma County’s district attorney for life, so he said he wasn’t prepared for retirement.
“It’s a shocker,” he said recently on a sunny day, watching his cattle from the porch of his 60-acre String Tie Ranch in eastern Oklahoma County.
“That was the downside when I retired,” said Macy, 78. “One day you’re involved in anything and everything ... going on and the next day your telephone doesn’t ring. And it doesn’t ring for weeks and months.”
How do you adjust to that? “Time” he said.
Macy had a storied and sometimes controversial career as a prosecutor, putting more than 50 murderers on death row. He also was known for being a real-life cowboy who rode horses and roped cattle. He looked the part, too, with his black string tie, cowboy hat, Western clothes and boots.
He retired in 2001 for health reasons. He said he got medical advice that he’d be dead in five years if he stayed under the same stress. He said he was misdiagnosed for a time as having Parkinson’s disease.
“We still don’t know what’s a matter with me,” said Macy, who moves slower and sometimes has trouble remembering details.
He urges others who are getting older to get ready mentally for the change retirement will bring.
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell my friends,” he said. “You need to recognize it. ... Sooner or later you’re going to have to stop ... and do something else. You might be thinking what that’s going to be.”
He also said, “I didn’t realize how much I was going to miss it when I retired. ... I’m sure I went through some depression.